ABOUT COSON

HOW IT ALL STARTED

The decision to set up COSON is a result of a broad based agreement between the owners of musical works, the users of the works and the statutory regulators on the need of the industry to close ranks and have one formidable national collective management organization to promote and protect the copyright of practitioners in the Nigerian music industry. COSON will also ensure that the rights of persons from other lands who have interest in music used in Nigeria are protected.

It was in the year 2000 that it was agreed between the existing collective management structures that those structures must be collapsed into COSON to bring to an end the schism and undue rivalry in the collective management of rights in the music industry. It was not until the formation of the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition in 2009, that it was decided that the time had come to take the bull by the horn. All known stakeholder groups in Nigeria were invited to the table to develop the architecture for collective management in Nigeria. At the end of several weeks of consultations and consensus building, it was resolved that:-

 

- Urgent steps should be taken to bring about the formation of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) which had long been agreed to by major stakeholder organizations in the industry.

 

- The emerging organization must be professional, transparent, accountable and fully democratic.

 

- The new organization must be fully operational as soon as it is set up in order not to create a vacuum in copyright licensing.

 

- In order to fast track the processes, existing structures of collective management and expertise already available in the industry should be utilized.

Following the above resolutions, all stakeholder groups were invited to contribute to the take off of COSON. COSON is a non-profit making organization governed by an Interim Management Board representing the different stakeholder groups. The Interim Management Board will serve the members for two years.

Membership of COSON is open to all owners of copyright or neighbouring rights in musical works or sound recordings. Upon take off, COSON acquired the membership of most of the celebrated icons of Nigeria’s evergreen sounds like Ebenezer Obey, Victor Uwaifo, Onyeka Onwenu, Dan Maraya Jos, Christy Essien Igbokwe, etc as well as the trail blazers of Nigeria’s music of the new millennium such as 2face, Timaya, J. Martins, Eldee, Omowumi, Olu Maintain, 9ice, Rugged Man, Sound Sultan, DJ Stramborella, 2 Shotz and hundreds of others.

COSON will also offer a big umbrella to thousands of copyright owners joining from the different groups that make up the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition. Foreign owners of copyright and neighbouring rights may also benefit from the protection offered by COSON through affiliation. There is no discrimination in COSON as all those entitled to membership are admitted at no cost whatsoever, whether they are young or old.In order to provide the highest level of service, COSON is deploying the substantial experience of members of its board and the cutting edge training of its personnel along with modern technology.

COSON will remain in the Nigerian Music Coalition, the nation’s most potent advocacy group for the protection of the legal rights in Nigeria of composers, authors, publishers, performers and owners of copyright in sound recordings. This watchdog role is critical in an environment that is still very suspicious of the intellectual property concept.

BULK MUSIC USERS such as broadcasting stations, airlines, hotels, nightclubs, advertising agencies, etc must ensure that they have appropriate authorization for the music repertoire they deploy. Failure to do this can lead to very expensive disputes and costly legal contests. No bulk user can afford the massive machinery necessary to identify the legal owner of every piece of music required for its operation, neither can any user afford the cost of negotiating the use of each piece of music belonging to persons from diverse parts of the world. COSON therefore provides music users access to one of the world’s most culturally valuable products: a huge repertoire of copyright-protected music for public performance.

Music users will soon discover that COSON makes the process of obtaining the right licences straight forward and efficient, offering the opportunity for the works of music creators worldwide to have a positive impact on their businesses while sparing them expensive litigations and disputes.

 

A World Without Music


Imagine a situation in which there is no music whatsoever on radio or television, no music in our night clubs, restaurants, or beer palours, no music in the gyms where we work out, no music in the aircraft as we sit through the many hours of long haul flights… Imagine that there is no music in every super market or shopping mall, no music in our offices as we work, none in the barbers shop or the hair dressers … what kind of world will that be?

COSON makes sure that we never have a world without music. By making it easy for those who need music to have access to it and ensuring that those who create the beautiful music we love to receive appropriate compensation for their ingenuity, COSON helps creativity to continue and the world is a better place. While we say, ‘Let the music play’, COSON also says, ‘Let the music pay!’

Board of Directors

Here are the Nigerian music industry heavyweights who steer the affairs of the society.

Chief Tony Okoroji

Chairman of the Board

Chief Tony Okoroji is Chairman of the COSON Board. Tony Okoroji’s first recorded works are contained in his 1976 album, Super Sure released while he was eighteen years old. Okoroji however came to national limelight in the early eighties with his release of several cross over songs such as Juliana, Oriaku, Mama & Papa, Wishing You Well, Locomotion, Otanishi, etc all of which became national favorites. .He was simultaneously engaged as a music producer by the international recording company, EMI. At 29 years old, Chief Okoroji was elected National President of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN). Despite being the youngest president in the history of the association, he went on to transform the hitherto little known body into one of the nation’s most powerful professional associations. Chief Okoroji led the team that spread the tentacles of PMAN to every nook and cranny of Nigeria and won national and international respect for Nigerian musicians. As an activist leader, Chief Okoroji mounted an unrelenting campaign for the review of the nation’s copyright laws, organizing demonstrations across the country which forced the hands of the military government. He was eventually appointed by the Federal Government into the Committees that redrafted both the Nigerian Copyright Law and its first amendment. He also led the vanguard for the establishment of the Nigerian Copyright Commission and served twice on the Board of the Commission. Chief Okoroji is today one of Nigeria’s most respected authorities on Intellectual Property and his continues to be an unrelenting voice in the campaign for the rights of creative people. Chief Tony Okoroji created and launched the famous Nigerian Music Awards, Africa’s first internationally respected entertainment award event which has played host to Heads of State, Ambassadors, Ministers, Governors and stars from all over the world. As a social activist, he has served in many capacities including being a member of the Lagos State Police/Community Relations Committee. Chief Okoroji attended College of Immaculate Conception Enugu where he obtained his West African School Certificate in Division One. He holds a Degree in Business Administration from Delta State University, Abraka where he graduated as best student. He also holds both a Diploma in Business & Industrial Law and an Advanced Diploma in Commercial Law & Practice from the University of Lagos where he set a record of graduating with a Distinction in both sets. Tony Okoroji is a prolific writer and public speaker. He has written extensively on copyright, attended many courses around the world on copyright and collective management and presented over one hundred papers on copyright and the entertainment industry. His book, Copyright & the New Millionaires (the twists and turns in Nigeria) published in 2009 has received great acclaim locally and internationally. Chief Tony Okoroji who has dedicated a life time to the development of popular music in Nigeria is a winner of many awards including the Pan African Arts and Music Award. He is CEO of TOPS LTD, a Lagos based entertainment and events consultancy firm.

Azeezat Allen

Board Member

Fondly known as the Queen of Love, Azeezat is everything her name speaks of. A lover of music, poetry, love stories, cartoons, this creative mind believes so much in love and is known to perform mostly love songs. Although she possesses a soothing nature, Azeezat is known to be “on fire” while on stage, holding her audience spellbound with her talents. At a tender age, young Azeezat discovered music as her first love and began the journey of fulfilling her desires. By age 13, she had begun writing songs and participating in singing competitions, nursing her dreams to fly the nation’s flag internationally like Sade Adu. Azeezat armed herself with a degree in mass communications, and decided to take a shot at Radio and TV presentation and production but it was not long before she returned to her first love: music. Her definition of music is “Rhythm and Soul distinctively blended with Afro flavour for the listening pleasure of the African man”. For Azeezat, musical content is of more importance than instrumental back-ups; this has informed the minimal use of instruments in her songs. Azeezat has been described as a rare gem in the Nigerian music industry; she is admired for her sonorous voice, her style of music, her creative energy and her props which keeps her fans yearning for more. She was nominated at the MNET-organized “Where You At” (?U@) Awards as Best Up-coming Female Act and Best Female Act in 2000 alongside icon Onyeka Onwenu. She has also featured in top-rated music awards in Nigeria like Fame Music Awards, Amen Awards and Afro Hip-Hop Awards (AHHA). In 2010 Azeezat published the first ever Hair and Entertainment magazine in Nigeria called Hair’volution Magazine. She has also been at the fore of tourism in Nigeria, promoting Tarqua Bay as a great tourist destination in Nigeria. In the course of her career, Azeezat has churned out three albums that have rocked the music scene in Nigeria and beyond. She is known for her hit songs Ife, Hold on, Lonely World, Olorun Mi, Keregbe amongst others.

John E. Udegbunam

Board Member

It was in 1976 that Hon John Ndidika Ewelukwa Udegbunam started his professional music career. Since then, his has been an exceptional crusade to promote, teach and spread Gospel music across the nation. Very few people in Nigeria can claim to have made wider impact in bringing gospel music to the mainstream of Nigerian culture as this gifted composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, author and music teacher. He has been an outstanding convener and resource person for music seminars and has travelled extensively within and outside the country conducting such seminars. A former National Stage Manager of National Association of Gospel Artistes (NAGA), John Ewelukwa Udegbunam has been Chief Organist of Sacred Heart Parish, Onitsha since 1978. Also a former Chairman of Anambra State Gospel Musicians’ Association, he is the immediate past National Coordinator of the Praise & Worship Ministry of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria and the Music Director for the Anglophone Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference 2009. Udegbunam has 29 personal music albums to his credit and has produced numerous albums for other artistes. He also spearheaded the production of several albums for the National and Onitsha Provincial Praise & Worship Ministry of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria. John Ewelukwa Udegbunam is the author of several books including:- •Learn Sight Singing (Staff & Tonic Sol-Fa) •Vocal Lessons •Ethics For Gospel Musicians •Guitar Chord Library •Eweson Piano Chord Tutor His book, Guitar Chord Library, is a comprehensive guitar chord book showcasing over 15, 000 chord positions on the guitar. A member of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), Hon John Ewelukwa Udegbunam who was Deputy Speaker of the old Onitsha Local Government Area of Anambra State, continues to have considerable interest in politics. The retired boxer is National President of Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN) and represents the interest of the members of MORAN on the Interim Management Board of COSON Born in what is now Republic of Cameroon , Hon Udegbunam hales from Ora- Eri in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. He attended both St. Mary’s Primary School, Ora-Eri and Bendi Primary School in Obalikun Local Government Area of Cross River State. John Ndidika Ewelukwa Udegbunam also studied at Anyogu Evening College and London Computer College , Onitsha where he obtained his Certificate in Computer Studies. He has a Diploma in Mass Communication and a Higher National Diploma in the same field from the University of Nigeria , Nsukka and Federal Polytechnic, Oko respectively. Hon John Ewlukwa Udegbunam is the Managing Director of Eweson Communications Ltd, a thriving Onitsha based audiovisual firm that owns the Eweson Digital Recording Studios and markets audiovisual equipment and accessories.

Dr. Adewale Ayuba

Board Member

Dr. Adewale Ayuba is a distinguished Fuji music artiste who revolutionized the face of fuji music in Nigeria with his hi-tech instrumentation and distinct voice. Determined to carve a niche for himself, a young Ayuba broke into the music scene with his first album Ibere at the age of 17. His rise on the Fuji music scene was rapid and he soon became a household name in Nigeria. He got signed on by Sony Music (Nigeria) in 1990 to record the album Bubble which launched him into international prominence and there has been no going back for him since then. Nicknamed Mr. Johnson for his hit song, Mr. Johnson, Adewale Ayuba has not only redefined fuji music but also made it appealing to all and sundry. He success story is described by his large international fan base and the huge number of awards he has bagged. Ayuba was awarded as the Millennium Voice of Nigerian Music {Home and Abroad} in Düsseldorf, Germany by Pan-Yoruba Group, Omo Oduduwa Association in recognition of his valuable contributions to the growth of the music industry. In 2004, Ayuba released a wave-making chart topping album Ijo Fuji {Fuji Dance} on the Nigerian music air waves. In the United States of America in 2004, he was given the Entertainer of the Year Award by the Nigerian American Community Association. Also in the same year, the Ikenne Development Association in Chicago, U.S.A gave him an award as the Ogo-irawo of Ikenne Remo for his contribution to the development of Ikenne Remo, his birth place. Ijo Fuji won the Best Fuji Album of the Year Award at the Awards for Musical Excellence in Nigeria, {AMEN} which was held in Nigeria in July 2005. The collaboration of Ayuba and Bantu produced the Fuji Satisfaction Album released in Germany, in 2005 and it rapidly won two Awards- the Best Group in West Africa and the Best Group in Africa at the KORA MUSIC AWARDS in Durban, South Africa. Ayuba’s Album, Mellow won the Best Fuji Vocal Performance at the {AMEN} 2007 Awards, His recent album Ariya instantly became a success after its release, proving Ayuba’s mettle as a rave musician who is on top of his trade.

Kenny St. Brown

Board Member

Kenny Saint Brown is a gospel artiste, gospel minister, music/entertainment executive, arts/entertainment consultant, and an entrepreneur. Aside partnering with top music stars, she has churned out popular gospel tunes including “Turn Around”, “Majesty (Ebube)”, “P.I.M.P. (Pump In More Praise)” among others. She was born 23rd November 1967 in Ago Iwoye Ijebu to the family of late Chief Felix and Otunba Mrs Leticia Ogungbe. KSB as she is fondly called had her primary and secondary education at Adebola Odutola College, in Ijebu Ode. She obtained her first degree in English (Arts) from Ogun State University and second degree, an MBA from UNIBEN in 1990 and 1995 respectively. She also holds a post-graduate diploma in theology from RCCG Bible Institute, Lagos. She immediately started her career in church as a missionary as she jettisoned a career in oil & gas industry. She served under various ministries which included RCCG Jesus House, LONDON, RCCG Dunamis Exurcia, This Present House, Grace Assembly all in Lagos. She currently serves at Revival Assembly Lagos where she is an ordained a minister and a youth pastor under Apostle Anselm Madubuko. A politician and spokesperson for Children Living With Cancer, she is a parent of two teenagers, and the vice president of Kennis Communications, CEO, KSB Consulting, and an MD, O’GOODNESS Foods

Uche Emeka Paul

Board Member

Uche Emeka Paul is a composer, performer and producer with over 25 years’ experience. He is also the owner and of El-Shadai Studios based in Kubwa, Abuja. He also sits atop Tecenc Product Nigeria Ltd, Abuja as its CEO. He has been involved in music production for many years, and is the chairman of Music Label Owners and Recording Industries Association of Nigeria, MORAN, Abuja Zone. At the national level, Mr. Paul is the public relations officer of Moran. A long standing member of COSON, Uche Emeka Paul was born on 17th November 1964 in Orafite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State. He is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State. His hobbies include reading, cycling and playing lawn tennis and is married with four children.

Richard Cole

Board Member

Richard Cole musical career has spanned about five decades. He is a popular drummer who has worked with many artistes in the past and present. Born in June 1951 in Lagos State where he also attended his primary and secondary schools at Ladilak Primary School and Birch Freeman Secondary Schools, he started his music career at the age of 16 in 1967 with a musical pop group named "Mona Finnish Sony Okogwu and The Sunflowers". As a drummer he was also a member of Sonny Okosun and the Paperback Ltd in 1971. He has worked with big names in the Nigerian music industry such as Sir Victor Uwaifo's Titibis, Christy Essien Igbokwe's Goldtrain Orchestra, Bongos Ikwue's Groovies and Uncle Steve Rhodes' October Band. He produced 12 albums (hit songs) with Chief Oliver De Coque before sojourning to the USA in 1997 where he formed his own band named " Iroko" and toured in America. Cole is still a very active drummer who has ventured into music production. He is happily married and blessed with five children.

Sir Shina Peters

Board Member

Shina Peters is a Nigerian juju musician, born Olushina Isaac Peters in Ogun State on May 30, 1958. He is known as the founder of Afro-juju in the late 1980s from the juju music. He is currently the chairman Board of Trustees, Association of Juju Musician (AJUM). He began his music career playing guitar with General Prince Adekunle. The Afro-juju musician formed a group with juju maestro Segun Adewale and they released several albums together all through the 1980s. Shina later formed his own band, “Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars”. Their first album released was “Ace (Afro-juju series 1)”. The album in 1989 went double platinum. His second album was released in 1990 titled, “Shinamania (Afro-juju series 2”. The music was played in most parties and almost all homes across the country and Shina Peters was awarded “juju musician of the year” Shina Peters is married and has children, he is also the elder brother ofYomi Peters a Nigerian musician based in the United States. Popular amongst Sir Shina Peters songs are: Lobito Disco, Mo le so Nipa Ijesma, Vivid Imagination, Dele Ilori, Momo, Oluwa Ti Foyin Si, Fe Lo, Omo Mbo, Shinamania, Commit and many more. He has a total of 16 albums since he started music. His albums included Way to Freedom, Freedom (Senwele), Money Power , Ko Temi Fun Mi, Ace (Afro-juju series 1) released in 1989 and Shinamania that was eleased in 1990. He also released Dancing Time in 1991. Others included Experience (1992), Mr. President, My Child, Kilode, Love, Reunion, Playmate, Happy Hour, Pay Back Time and Splendor which were released between 1993 and 2006.

Engr. Sharon Wilson

Board Member

Engr. Sharon Wilson is the national president of Music Producers and Marketers Association Of Nigeria, MUPMAN, as well as Chairman/CEO of ESSCO Productions Ltd, ESSCO Group and ESSCO Music Corporation. He attended Bonny National Grammar School, Bonny Town, Rivers State, Nigeria Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos and the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State. He studied music at the Meditone International School of Music Technology and has been deeply involved in music production for years.

Maureen Uso

Board Member

Ms Maureen Ejezie Uso who hails from Asaba in Delta State is a songwriter and performer. She was born on February 28th 1964. Maureen, a mother of four children attended the Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia in Abia State, where she obtained a degree in Agricultural Science. Her hobbies include travelling, singing and watching movies.